Manchester

Manchester Dogs' Home fire: Donations reach £1m in a day

Burnt building Image copyright GMP/PA
Image caption Manchester Dogs' Home said 60 dogs were housed in the worst-affected building

More than £1m has been raised for a dogs' home in Manchester where a fire killed 60 dogs.

More than 150 dogs were rescued from the fire, which broke out at Manchester Dogs' Home in Moss Brook Road in Harpurhey on Thursday evening.

Staff said they were "overwhelmed" at the support they had received, with hundreds of people donating food and blankets for the surviving animals.

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

A JustGiving account set up by the Manchester Evening News had raised more than £1m just after 19:00 BST.

The newspaper has also captured aerial footage showing the extent of the damage caused by the blaze.

In the aftermath of the fire, the manager of the home said 60 dogs had been housed in the worst-affected building.

Image copyright john heslop
Image caption A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the blaze

Manager Lisa Graham said the home costs £100,000 a month to run and support from the general public had been "phenomenal".

"It means an enormous amount to us," she added.

Firefighters said the dogs rescued from the fire had been moved to a sister site - Cheshire Dogs' Home.

'Angry and upset'

Hundreds of messages of sympathy have been left on the JustGiving page, as the amount of money donated continues to rise.

Julie Fowler wrote: "Thinking of all staff and dogs, RIP to those who didn't make it."

Julie Eccleston posted: "From here all I can do is donate money. Bless you, local people, for helping out."

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service tweeted its thanks to people who have donated money, saying: "One hundred and fifty dogs rescued. Thousands of pounds donated. Thank you Greater Manchester."

Det Insp Neil Jones, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "The response from the public has been overwhelming and this is clearly an incident that has tugged on the heartstrings of many."

He added: "We are determined to establish exactly how and why this fire started and will be working closely with our partners from the fire service.

"Anyone wanting to donate items such as food and blankets can do so by bringing them to the north Manchester police headquarters."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Several dogs rescued from the fire were moved to Cheshire Dogs' Home in Warrington

Supt Marcus Noden appealed for anyone with information about the blaze to come forward - and also urged people to remain calm in the wake of the dogs' deaths.

"As a dog owner myself I understand that many people will feel angry and upset about what has happened, but I would ask that they let the police carry out their investigations and not take matters into their own hands," he said.

'Nation of animal lovers'

A statement posted on Manchester and Cheshire Dogs' Home's Facebook page said: "The local community has rallied around us and a drop-off point for donations has been designated at Christchurch on Water Street, Harpurhey - food and blankets are our main need at the moment.

"We owe a great thanks to animal wardens, Dogs Trust Manchester, Pennine Pen and numerous RSPCA inspectors for their assistance in transport to other kennels for the dogs that survived; there are too many individuals to thank by name."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The scene of the fire has been closed off to allow an investigation

The RSPCA described the fire as "heartbreaking".

In a statement it said: "A terrible event like this does show what a nation of animal lovers we are, and there has been a flood of support from the local community and on social channels.

"Animal rescuers worked side by side to help care for the rescued animals that were, thankfully, saved."

The Manchester home was established in 1893 and cares for more than 7,000 dogs every year.

It is run entirely on donations from the general public.

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